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Little Monsters Bets On...

Little Monsters

July 2023

I heard Adrienne Brodeur talk about LITTLE MONSTERS at a pre-publication event, and I knew from her presentation that I wanted to read it. It’s set in the summer of 2016 on Cape Cod, an area that she knows and loves. This place is as much a character in the book as the Gardner family whom we meet. The setting alone makes it work as a summer read.

Adam Gardner is reluctantly retiring at the age of 70, even though he still wants to make one more discovery with the whales he loves. His son, Ken, is angling his chances to run for a congressional seat. He has enlisted his wife, Jenny, in this quest. She is the perfect spouse of a candidate, but is this who she wants to be? And oh, she has a wee bit of a drinking problem. Ken’s sister, Abby, is an artist who is very much coming into her own. Her brother has more control over her life than she would like. She’s also best friends with Jenny, which means they know a lot about each other’s lives before and after Jenny married Ken --- and there is a lot to stay buried there, too. Then there’s Steph. I am not going to give anything away by telling you about her. We are introduced to the characters in chapters up front where we really get to know them quickly.

From there, the story builds towards Adam’s 70th birthday party, which morphs from something casual into something much bigger as times goes on. Of course, executing the party falls on Jenny’s capable shoulders. But every tension in the family is exposed as this event happens.

I had not read Adrienne’s bestselling memoir, WILD GAME (though I caught up on it after finishing this one). Noticeably there is no mother in LITTLE MONSTERS. As Adrienne said, she told enough about a mother in her memoir. I so agree! The absence of the mother here is the reason for lots of tension in the book, proving that even when she is off the page, Adrienne can spark a lot of mother drama.

Little Monsters
by Adrienne Brodeur

  • Publication Date: May 7, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 1982198117
  • ISBN-13: 9781982198114